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Mario Rana's Rio

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Last week we met Mario Rana, part owner and bar manager at Cuoco Pazzo. Today he shares with us the recipe for the Rio, a drink he named after himself.

"It's what everyone called me in high school," Rana says. "They couldn't say my name right, so I just told them to drop the MA and call me Rio. I don't even like that name; I just couldn't think of anything."

Rio (the drink) is a variation of a Negroni which incorporates a citrusy IPA, utilizing the pairing qualities of good craft beer.

"Beer's fun to work with because there are so many different flavor profiles and flavors that work with other foods and liquors, Rana says. "What's good about this drink is that all the ingredients collaborate together. You have the pine of the gin going along with the hops in the IPA, the bitterness of the Campari also goes along with the beer, and then the grapefruit mirrors the beer's citrusy flavors. I could drink it all day."

The ingredients:
1 oz. Hendrick's Gin
1 oz. Campari
3-4 oz. IPA (such as Firestone Walker Union Jack)
Splash Ruby Red grapefruit juice

How to make it:
Mix all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with candied grapefruit peel, if desired. 

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